Racers Edge Performance North Coast V Twins Craig McMartin Racing team rider Beau Beaton was the man to beat in both Formula Oz and Pro Twins classes at round six of the 2015 Swann Series at Winton Motor Raceway over the weekend of 24-25 October.
Development of the Ducati Panigale R in the Formula Oz class is now at a stage where the team only needed to make very small changes to adapt to the Winton circuit. The base setting arrived at by the team over the Queensland and Wakefield Park rounds on the Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa slick tyres now only requires finite levels of customising for each circuit.
Beau was immediately fast from the opening session of practice on Friday morning on both the Panigale R in Formula Oz and the Horner brothers thunderingIrving Vincent 1600 in Pro
Twins continuing that form through to qualifying on Friday afternoon.
With Beau’s team mate and mentor Craig McMartin unable to compete at this round due to prior family commitments Beau was on the phone updating Craig with progress throughout the day.
Formula Oz qualifying saw Beau cement himself in pole position for the first race on Saturdays AFX-SBK program, with the fastest lap of the Saturday program also determining the grid
for Sundays premier televised races.
In Pro Twins the story was the same with Beau thundering around the technical and bumpy circuit over 1.5 seconds faster than his nearest Pro Twins rival.
Ken and Barry Horner had been hard at work in their Hallam workshop and had two versions of the stunningly beautiful 1600cc pushrod VTwin on hand this weekend. Running two different chassis setups and engine configurations Beau was able to provide more valuable feedback as the development of the bikes moves forward at a rapid rate.
Team Manager Greg Maher and Chief Mechanic Mark “Doc” Downie were having an easy weekend with Beau so comfortable on the bike that unlike previous rounds a refuel, polish and fitting of tyre warmers was all that was required on the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR Panigale R after each session.
The team’s strategy in the Saturday program was to set a fast lap early to secure pole position for Sunday in both classes and then keep an eye on the competition and prepare for the premier events on Sunday.
Beau got the day off to a great start in the first race on the Saturday program with a comfortable victory in Formula Oz on the Panigale R, setting a lap nearly .35 of a second faster than in qualifying.
Race one in the Pro-Twins class saw Beau even more dominant, a comprehensive victory by over seven seconds; over two seconds faster than any other Pro Twin competitor saw the days plan come together nicely for the team. Beau’s fastest lap on the black and gold 1600cc beast was fractionally off a full second faster than in qualifying.
The remainder of Saturday was spent watching the Formula Oz and Pro Twin class races ensuring that no one was getting close to Beau’s times, and preparing the bikes for Sunday.
Sunday was fine, clear and warm, unlike last year at Winton and the team was ready for a big day of racing. Formula Oz was the first race on Sunday’s program and Beau fired the Racers Edge Performance North Coast V-Twins CMR Panigale R off the line with gusto. Peeling into turn one in the lead and firing up the hill toward the old start area at Winton Beau was looking extremely confident and comfortable on the Panigale R. At the completion of the first lap Beau was over one second ahead of the rest of the field. By lap three the lead was over three seconds with Beau then clocking four consecutive laps in the 1:24’s to build an impressive 4.2 second lead as he got the last lap board. Backing the pace off on the final tour with an eventual victory margin of 4.3 seconds was a brilliant way to start the day for Beau and the team.
Pro Twins race one was more of the same, once Beau tipped into turn one the rest of the field only ever saw the rear cowl of the all Australian made Irving Vincent 1600.
Nearly 1.5 second ahead after the first lap Beau just pulled away every lap to thunder to a comprehensive victory by over fifteen seconds over his nearest Pro Twin rival.
Race two in formula Oz saw Beau once again fire the Racers Edge North Coast VTwins CMR Panigale R off the line and blitz the field in the first two laps building a lead of over two seconds. Just like race one, consistent laps in the 1:24’s saw the final victory margin over championship leader Paul Byrne an impressive 2.7 seconds.
Pro Twins race two saw Beau not lead at the completion of the first lap for the first time over the weekend, however that was rectified on lap two with Beau assuming the lead setting blistering laps on lap two and three faster than any other rider was capable of in the entire race. The Irving Vincent was looking like it was on rails, the development work done by Ken and Barry along with Steve Mudford on the chassis dynamics of the bike clearly evident as Beau made it four from four over the two classes with over a ten second advantage over his nearest Pro Twin rival.
Race three in Formula Oz looked like developing into another comprehensive race victory and round win for the Racers Edge Performance North Coast VTwin CMR team with Beau once
again leading the field across the line for the first four laps. However the Panigale appeared to slow at the start of lap five and Paul Byrne was able to slip past, unfortunately Beau and the Panigale R would coast to a halt a few corners later, a fuel tank breather issue found the be the cause.
Luckily there was one race left on Beau’s Sunday program and his level of determination to secure a round victory on the KH Equipment Irving Vincent was clearly evident.
Beau fired off the line well but had to play second fiddle for the first lap until he was able to push to the front on lap two. Beau then proceeded to pull away from the field to secure another comfortable victory by over four seconds to secure a round victory in the Pro Twins and combined Pro Twins and Naked Bike class.
This round victory now sees Beau lead the championship in the combined class and close the gap to the championship lead to six points with only one round remaining.
The team is now looking forward to the seventh and final round of the championship at Sydney Motorsport Park on the 5th December. This will be a twilight meeting on the Saturday and will also be televised live on Fox Sports.
“It was great to finally win a round on the Vincent this weekend” commented an elated Beau Beaton. “Even though we lead the combined championship we hadn’t yet stood on the top step for a round win, the bike just gets better every weekend and it is a credit to the engineering genius of Ken and Barry Horner plus the hard work done by Steve Mudford on the chassis setup that has allowed us to move so far in such a short amount of time. We really only get to ride the bikes at race meetings so it has come a long way in a short period of time. The Panigale, well what can I say. Craig has built a beautiful bike and the hard work done by Greg, Doc and Steve over the last few rounds in getting a base setup has shown that we really have got the pace now on the Pirelli tyres.
On Sunday we had the bike dialled in perfectly and we didn’t need to change a thing, in fact we spent Friday mainly working on gearing as the setup is that good we barely changed it. The DNF in the final race was a shame but that is racing and these things happen, luckily it was an easy fix and we will be all ready to get back out there at the creek. I am really looking to riding both bikes at the final round at a track I know well. As always a big thanks to Greg and Julie from Racers Edge Performance, Craig McMartin, North Coast V-Twins, Doc and Ken and Barry Horner for all the
work over the weekend, we wouldn’t be here doing this if it wasn’t for them and our loyal sponsors so thank you to all of you”.
“Another great weekend for us” said Team Manager Greg Maher. “Once again, for the second round in a row those Formula Oz races were great for us. Even more so than the last round Beau seemed really comfortable and at one with the bike, Craig builds a great race bike and Beau has really taken to the Panigale R on the Pirelli tyres. We spent most of the weekend putting fuel in the bike and polishing it, it was a real easy weekend for us and a result of the hard work put in by the team at the last few rounds. No changing springs or major adjustments, we virtually had the setup
sorted by Friday afternoon and the way Beau rode over the weekend shows that we are in a good place for the season finale”.